The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Support Your Finals!

Border Collie trial enthusiasts and their dogs vie for
points throughout the year earned in competitions held around the country. The culmination of our effort takes place at our National Finals, where 150 teams are whittled down through qualifying and a semi-final round. The top 17 go through to the final day, and a champion for that year is determined. There is no other association that offers anything close to the challenge presented at our national finals. It is an opportunity to witness true working Border Collies being tested under the most demanding conditions to be found anywhere.

We prepare, train and trail in hopes of qualifying for it. Then we prepare, train and trial some more in hopes of being successful. Just making it to the semi-final round is a huge accomplishment. Among the top 17 still standing on the final day, you will see some of the finest dog and handler teams in the world.

Putting on the
United States Border Collie Handler's Association, (USBCHA) National Finals each year is a monumental task. There is a host committee that organizes things logistically and, in effect, puts on the trial. The USBCHA and the American Border Collie Association, (ABCA,) support that effort with guidance, and some funding.

2010 National Finals will take place this September 18 -26 in Middletown, Virginia, and that committee has been working diligently with the trial preparations well in hand. Please visit their website for more information, and for ways that you can participate in their effort, including dog sponsorships and, for the first time ever, live webcasting.

The 2011 National Sheepdog Finals may seem like along way off. To the intrepid volunteers hosting the event, though, it seems they're running out of time. The Strang family, Mike, Kit and Bridget, are hosting the event on their spectacular Strang Ranch, high in Colorado's Rocky Mountains just outside of the famous resort town of Aspen. Bringing years of trial production experience and talent to the table, Ellen Nieslanik and Dan Keeton round out the local committee. All of their efforts are purely volunteer, and it is a labor of love.

They are making every effort to create an event worthy of the accomplishment. Fund-raising is an important part of their job, and to begin with, the committe came up with the pre-event collector's ballcaps pictured here. Except for postage, all the money raised from them will go directly towards the trial. There are only a couple hundred available, and then they're gone, but I snagged a few for my readers and friends. Get 'em while I got 'em, show your support, and look darned good doing it.

The Aspen Valley Land Trust, (AVLT) is a host sponsor of the event and represented by this logo stitched on the right side of the ballcap. AVLT, a non-profit 501 (C)(3), will be the beneficiary of profits from the 2011 National Sheepdog Finals held at Strang Ranch in Carbondale, Colorado. AVLT is Colorado’s oldest land trust (founded in 1967) and is committed to conserving ranchland and open spaces in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.

OK, that's it. Please follow this link to purchase a cap using PayPal. If you prefer to pay by check, and for international orders, please email me to make arrangements. Shipping is included in the price, the caps are really attractive, you'll be supporting a tremendous event. What are you waiting for? Look for me at the dog trials wearing mine, and I hope to see you doing the same. With my thanks...

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